The new Canadian Citizenship Guide: Gender Equality Fail


The Globe and Mail had a piece on the new Canadian Citizenship Guide, including a quote by Historian Margaret Conrad, who had this to say a-boot it:

“It’s kind of like a throwback to the 1950s. It’s a tough, manly country with military and sports heroes that are all men.”

I thought to myself, that can’t be true, can it? So I went about trying to prove to myself that the new document couldn’t be all boys and no girls. Well, it’s a little shocking.

#1: The gender equality section

First, let me reproduce here the entire section on The Equality of Women and Men.

“In Canada, men and women are equal under the law. Canada’s openness and generosity do not extend to barbaric cultural practices that tolerate spousal abuse, ‘honour killings,’ female genital mutilation, or other gender-based violence. Those guilty of these crimes are severely punished under Canadas criminal laws.”

That’s it. That’s the whole thing. 4 lines (in the original document) that basically amount to “don’t torture your wife.”

#2: Female and male pronouns

Let’s take a cursory look at the number of times female and male words are mentioned:

With Queen/King Without Queen/King
# female words
(she, her, hers, (*)woman, (*)women(‘s), female, mother, queen)
52 30
# male words
(he, his, him, (*)man, (*)men, male, father, king)
50 43

I found this incredibly surprising. Why? Because I was expecting that frequent mentions of the Queen, gender equality and votes for women would put them way ahead. And yet they only win by 2, mostly because the word “queen” is mentioned 22 times. If you remove “queen” (22) and “king” (7) from the lists, the numbers are 30 for women and 43 for men. And that number still includes the number of times “her” refers to the Queen.

#3: Great Canadians

We’ve come to the most disgusting part of it all. Here’s the proportion of men and women representing the best and brightest of modern Canada. It makes me sick.

(Numbers have been scaled to give an impression of proportional differences.)

Number of male artists mentioned
(3 individuals, plus 7 in the Group of Seven and 10 in Les Automatistes)
Number of female artists mentioned
(2 individuals, plus 6 in Les Automatistes)
Number of male athletes mentioned 6
Number of female athletes mentioned 1
Number of male scientists, thinkers and inventors mentioned 20
Number of female scientists, thinkers and inventors mentioned 0

That last one really turns my stomach. Zero. Goose egg. And yet, why am I not surprised?

Right after the list of great Canadian male discoveries is this paragraph:

“The prosperity and diversity of our country depend on all Canadians working together to face challenges of the future. In seeking to become a citizen, you are joining a country that, with your active participation, will continue to grow and thrive.”

Perhaps “diversity” is a word about which they should spend a bit more time thinking.


WLMK’s diaries on the Internet!


William Lyon Mackenzie King has always kinda been my secret favourite Prime Minister. This is due 100% to my awesome high school history teacher who told us all sorts of crazy stories about him. He was absolutely batty and I loved it. So today when I was bouncing down a wikipedia rabbit hole through the various Prime Ministers of Canada, I learned quite a few things that I did not know about him.

First of all, at 21 years, he was the longest-serving Prime Minister in British Commonwealth history. That’s pretty hefty. Sir John served 18 years, Trudeau served 15 years, Chretien served 10 years; all child’s play. Don’t waste my time, guys.

Secondly, and more awesomely, you can read his diaries on the internet. This is awesome, because you get to read great stories like the ones that my high school teacher told me, like this one:

When British parliament was bombed, WLMK had some of the stones from the old buildings sent to Ottawa. He proceeded to touch each of the stones and then Canadian parliament in turn, in order to imbue our buildings with British history.

I look forward to reading many similar stories in this archive. This may be the first time that the Canadian government has actually done some good on the internet.


Breaking News


Budgie imprisons kitten. Humanitarian Kittarian Crisis.

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The Origin of the Samoyed



The Samoyed dog takes its name from the Samoyedic peoples of Siberia. An alternate name for the breed, especially in Europe, is Bjelkier. These nomadic reindeer herders bred the fluffy, white, smiling dogs to help with the herding, to pull sleds when they moved, and to keep their owners warm at night by sleeping on top of them.




First of all…

PHD Comics: Academic Salaries

Do you know how effing depressing this is for a wannabe academic? TENURED PROFS? Making an average of $86,000 per year? Looks like I’m taking up football.

Second of all…

Hmm… A Facebook for academics. Kind of like… the old facebook?


Women are neurologically inferior!


FemaleScienceProfessor is commenting on a really depressing article by yet another sexist academic on the apparently unfair behaviour of Title IX and other diversity mandates in the States. It is a trend that is starting to really piss me off. First Larry Summers, then John Tierney, and now Peter Wood are flying the it’s-not-discrimination,-women-are-weaker-and-that’s-why-they-aren’t-in-our-fields banner. Here’s Peter Wood’s precious argument:

The science “problems” we now ask students to think about aren’t really science problems at all. Instead we have the National Science Foundation vexed about the need for more women and minorities in the sciences. President Lawrence H. Summers was pushed out of Harvard University for speculating (in league with a great deal of neurological evidence) that innate difference might have something to do with the disparity in numbers of men and women at the highest levels of those fields. [Emphasis mine.]

I’m sorry, I must be one of those neurologically inferior women who is incapable of keeping up with current psychological research. Where’s this neurological evidence you’re talking about? Is it this? This? This? Oh, my mistake, it must be this article, the one that states in its title that “sex matters” to neuroanatomy, but not to eventual outcomes of neurological activity. Mr. Wood must be too busy to read abstracts.




The CBC just debuted a set of red panda twins! They are so adorable. Just in case you missed them, here are BY FAR the best red panda clips on the Internet.